Those who rejected separation for independence were right

By James Ladu Modi Asuk

The independence of South Sudan was planned as far as earlier in 1947 during the Juba conference, 1963 Khartoum meeting, 1955 Torit Mutiny or Any-nya One Movement and 1983 Any-anya two and followed by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA/ Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) war.

The list was long for the South Sudanese to achieve their self-determination from the Khartoum government at that time; the idea was to liberate the Southern region from the oppression of the Arabs in the north against the Southerners.

So when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in 2005 between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/ Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in the South, the hope for separation was on the top agenda for all the Southern Sudanese’ minds and hearts, especially during the six-year-interim period enshrined in the CPA.

From 2005-2011, the gear and the moral for the independence were the only options. During that time, Southern Sudanese were united just to break away from the Sudan, but not knowing what was inside the hearts and minds of some Southern Sudanese!

At that time, everybody was happy and the jubilation was high in return for better services and effective development, which thought might come along their way. All the citizens, including politicians and lawmakers said the referendum was the last bullet on the self-determination of Southern Sudan and that no one should miss it.

But before it happened in 2011, there had been a very serious warning from the Arabs themselves that, it was not the appropriate time for the Southerners to break-way from the Sudan. President Omar Hassan El-Bashir, his Cabinet, the oppositions, in concluding the common men/women had also raised an alarm of not taking a wrong decision for separating Southern Sudan, which no one anticipated that it would later turn violent as it is today.

They said, Southern Sudanese were divided according to their tribes, clans, ethnic groupings, political ideology. Hence, the unification of their country would be difficult ostensibly that they would be fighting one another as it is the case today.

The system of governance was also going to be very poor and the future for the development of their country would be dim. Since that is not enough, some Southern Sudanese also echoed the same statements saying that, breaking away was not healthy since the country and her people were occupied by the spirit of tribalism, nepotism, corruption amongst other things.

However, they were been termed as betrayers of their homeland and people who wanted to live under Arabs’ rules and denomination forever. The relationship between those who said “yes” and those who said “no” for separation had not been good in 2011, especially for those who campaigned for it in the South.

There was a lot of intimation and harassment if one opposed to the separation in the South. If not at the broad-daylight, it would take place at night when an individual was found supporting the idea “no for separation” and “yes for unity.”

It was an open thing that one could not even deny that nothing had happened like that during the separation period. It would be a liar if anyone said it to me. So my analysis shows that those who said no for separation and yes for unity, are right from the point of their argument towards the breaking away of the two sisterly states of Sudan and South Sudan. It is practical and the testimonies are real now, after the young African nation was born in 2011.

After the independence, the country started experiencing the spirit of division amongst the people, corruption, nepotism, killing of each other, grabbing people’s land, and rebellions began and the vision of the country become uncertain.

For instance, the rebellion that erupted in Jonglei State in 2011 led by Cobra -Faction and other armed groups in the former Western Equatoria State like the Arrow Boys Movement vindicate the judgment and the real issue on the ground.

Instead of sitting down and planning for the future of this country, some of our politicians become killers, looters, corrupt, and they have failed to define the future for the coming generations.

Since 2011 up today, the country has been incurring wars and conflicts throughout the region with meaningless political ideologies and greed for power. Some leaders have turned their backs against their innocent citizens and struggling to accumulate more wealth and resources for their families’ wellbeing.

For example, the 2013 conflict had killed many people in the country and leaving millions of them displaced from their homes and until now, the conflict is continuing in some parts of the country.

The so-called leaders of today have no pity on their people, and the suffering of their beloved sons and daughters who are dying in the bushes because of war and those who are dying of hunger and diseases across the nation. They do not care and have no time to look into the citizens’ issues and problems concerning matters of development and prosperity.

So those who have predicted no for separation were right, and I wish the rest of the Southerners would have listened to their dream and their call; we would not have been suffering like this today, because the Arabs in the north are good people though they were termed to be the worst human beings on earth.

This justification is true because the Arabs did not kill Southerners to the extent South Sudanese are killing themselves today; they did not grab people’s land, steal, neither were they corrupt nor did they divide our people along ethnic lines, neither did we experience the so called “unknown gunmen” who are terrorizing people in Juba at night as we are experiencing these days.

We have been given our independence and yet, we are unable to manage ourselves, but only to killed and loot from the innocent ones so who are we up to then?  Please, let us change our mind-set and actions for a better South Sudan of today and tomorrow.

The writer is a political analyst, and he is reachable on: modijamesladu@yahoo.com


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